We all feel the effects of autumn and winter upon us. The cold and (often!) damp weather, the night’s drawing in and that reluctance to a) get out of bed and b) go outside!
But work we must, but the weather can really drain your motivation and stump your creativity, if you’re not on top of it. And you can be pretty sure that, if you’re feeling the effects of the autumn and winter months – so are your staff.
Mentoring staff in the last quarter can be really hard, due to the time of year, so here are some tips to keep you AND your staff motivated during the winter months.
Remember the three key areas
Health and wellbeing, happiness and motivation. These are the three areas you need to focus on, in order to keep the spirits of your staff high.
Health and wellbeing
Encourage EVERYONE (yes, that includes you!) to take regular breaks away from their work. This includes regular 5 minute breaks AND lunch breaks – increase the benefits by taking regular walking breaks too. Not only does it give eyes and mind a break, it also helps stretch muscles, minimise the risk of back, neck and shoulder tension and allows you to collect your thoughts. This has the added advantage of giving creativity and inspiration room to grow too.
Promote healthy eating. Look to provide a fruit bowl at work, as this will encourage healthier eating and help build immune systems up.
How can you promote happiness at work? Well, use plants around the office, as they help both psychologically and physically. Amongst those benefits, plants help break up an otherwise sterile environment. They also help alleviate the symptoms of fatigue, tension, anxiety and depression.
Talking of depression, it’s worth taking a look at lighting for increased happiness. Seasonal Affective Disorder affects approximately 20% of the population. So why not help alleviate the symptoms by providing SAD lights?
Rewarding staff for their hard work isn’t something that should be limited to Christmas. One of my personal clients had two female employees who’d been with her for 10 years. She rewarded them by sending them on a midweek, two-day spa break – giving them paid time off work to attend.
Acknowledging long service, special occasions and work on special projects all help keep motivation high.
Hold regular staff meetings and appraisals, to encourage openness, interaction and to help illustrate how highly you value your staff.
Don’t forget your virtual staff. When it comes to motivating and looking after your staff – don’t forget virtual staff members. They’d also benefit from receiving rewards and acknowledgment. So why not schedule in regular virtual meetings and send them a thank you card and gift too?
Motivating your staff often boils down to treating them how you expect to be treated, so use yourself as a yardstick and lead by example. Make sure you’re looking after your own health, motivation and happiness during the autumn/winter period and pass on those things that benefit and help you.
How do you motivate staff during the autumn/winter period? Do you have a plan in place or any useful tips and advice you can share with other employers? Why not help others motivate and look after their staff, by leaving your suggestions and advice in the comments box below!
Images © Krasimira Nevenova & Elmur/Dollar Photo Club